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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I'm gonna nominate the spell Locate City. Specifically the range part of it being a bit odd.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I agree with Truenamer stupidity but it's getting more than enough votes, so here are my final two being cast for things that I love, but which could definitely use a rewrite.

    Illumian Power Words: There are some goofy things all over the Illumians - a good-leaning clan named Bloodwing, the rather pointless save bonus vs. shadow spells, the very strange glyph ability, and the Final Utterance which does nothing game-relevant. But the Power Words take the cake - they're very clear about what they do, but this makes them hacky and awkward-looking, and they lock you into the core classes to an absurd extent. Vaul words take the cake for the "expend a spell slot (but not one holding a prepared spell)" wording; they couldn't just say "expend a spontaneous casting spell-per-day"? It took me about four wordings to figure out what they meant by that. The Hoon words are pretty cringeworthy too.

    Soulmelds: I love Magic of Incarnum, but it's really poorly worded in a lot of places, and the entire Soulmelds chapter takes the cake. First they introduce THREE classes that are all front-loaded with all the widgets they will ever have, just like Clerics and Binders...then they smash all three lists of widgets together into one alphabetical archive, which you have to page through and read the Class: line to figure out which ones are available to your class. Every soulmeld has a ton of moving parts - its normal effect, its essentia effect, and from one to four binds - for you to keep track of, which means the tables which are supposed to summarize them don't tell you even a fraction of what you need to know, and their only way to point out the melds that go on more than one chakra was to copy them in both locations with no cross-reference. The entire thing is basically illegible, and I couldn't work with the classes until I hand-wrote a new reference which sorts them sensibly.

    Quote Originally Posted by NikitaDarkstar View Post
    I think you misunderstand my issue here. A LA template is LOWER for a CR monster than it is for a player. If memory serves (It might not, I've been playing Pathfinder and GURPS for a while now) a Half-Dragon template adds +2 CR to a monster.. but +3 LA to a player. Why? it's more powerful on a monster, which as you say is there to kill or be killed. Yes LA, ECL and CR measures completely different things, but once you want to apply a template to something it turns into a huge friggin mess.
    I'm inclined to think that templates were originally not meant to apply to player characters and that they were never really balanced properly. Half-Dragon doesn't strike me as unreasonable because a level 4 character with a 6d6 breath cone might as well be carrying a suitcase nuke. At higher levels it's far less impressive; LA buyoff is probably good to apply here.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    It seems the various colors of Ethergaunt are kinda messed up. (I've seen some lesser cheese involving whites, for example.)

    Also, just ran through the list again, and caught a few errors of counting. Nothing too major, but still annoying. So any cross-checks you care to perform are welcomed.

    Hulking Hurler has broken the top ten, and Cancer Mage and Drowning traded places. Truenamer looks to be catching up to IHS, but I think someone must have attempted to remove the condition "Loses to Truenamer in Top Ten Worst".

    Quote Originally Posted by mootoall View Post
    And I'd like to throw another vote on Void Disciple, and around three on the Sarrukh.
    I'm going to put that down as Manipulate Form (3), if you don't mind, since IIRC the Sarrukh would be unimpressive without that ability.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    My ten votes will be allocated as follows:

    Polymorph and associated spells - 3
    Natural Abilities - 2
    Contact Other Plane - 2
    Truenamer - 1
    Diplomacy - 1
    Lucid Dreaming skill - 1
    Mind expounding a bit on "Natural Abilities"? What precisely are you calling out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Answerer View Post
    ...Iron Heart Surge is beating Truenamer? No. Not even kind of sort of, just no.

    IHS is somewhat problematic and ill-defined. Truenamer is flat-out missing critical pieces of information and was clearly never tested at all.

    Also, anyone who does not list Manipulate Form as #1, it seems to me, is simply wrong.
    I suspect the reason IHS gets so many votes is that it is so viscerally wrong, and the most extravagant abuses, which the majority of DMs would crack down on, are very impressive just the same.

    Also, add your votes in!

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickLyRaiNbow View Post
    The other is Lucid Dreaming, which can basically allow for risk-free assassination, or, more potently, use Diplomacy without actually ever meeting the target. By sleeping, you can make everyone who's subject to mind-affecting effects while asleep (so maybe when buffs are down!) a Fanatic follower.
    Lucid Dreaming is like Forgery: a skill opposed only by itself. Pretty stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    This. Consider my vote cast for Truenamer.
    Just one vote? Why not use up a few more?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    [shenanigans with manyfang]
    That is... atrociously atrocious. Wow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    I saw the "no whole classes please" thing, also that they have already made it to the list anyway.
    Yeah... some classes are just that bad, but I don't want the first response to be throwing out a large chunk of published mechanics. Specificity please!

    Edited to add:
    Quote Originally Posted by Zonasiy View Post
    I'm gonna nominate the spell Locate City. Specifically the range part of it being a bit odd.
    It needs a bit more attention to ensure that it can, in fact, locate a city on anything other than a perfectly flat plane. Most of the blame for the bomb trick, though, falls on Frostburn's metamagic, without which the trick can't be pulled off (not even the Fell Draining variant).
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-07-10 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Two more posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Polymorph (and its line but the spell in particular) seems the most blindingly obviously hideous single example, not only because of the mass confusion (and errata and FAQs and version changes and subschool and variants and 10^100+1 threads about it due to its badly-worded and wildly open-ended nature)...

    If nothing else, it's one of the most unavoidable tar pits in D&D, unless the party of PCs plus every NPC or monster they ever face manages to avoid having sorcerer or wizard spellcasting (and even then, it spawns not only problems for all of its related spell line, but also potential problems or misunderstandings for abilities based upon it or similar to it, e.g. Alternate Form, Change Shape, or a druid's Wildshape). Simply banning everything polymorph-ish outright is unpalatable given that shapechanging is an iconic form of magic.

    This isn't to say that other entries on the list thus far aren't wretched in their own ways, but they are generally easier to houserule or to simply ignore or outright ban. That doesn't make them any better, it just means they are less of a problem for most games.

    Many campaigns might go their entire length while hardly opening Tome of Magic, much less feeling a need to try to work in Truenamers. Iron! Heart! Surge! is wildly open ended but (A) more campaigns use arcane magic than Tome of Battle and (B) saying "there's a list of conditions in D&D, when you IHS it ends one of those conditions (except Dead, duh) OR cancels the effect of one spell, (Sp), or (Su) ability [including psionic, incarnum, shadowcasting, binding, truenaming, poopmaging, etc versions] ON YOU" would go a long way to making IHS workable in a real game.

    There are any number of criteria for what make awful things awful in D&D. To my mind "awful AND nigh-unavoidable" trumps "awful" alone, and by this reasoning polymorph et al. is pretty much as bad as it gets.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I take it the entire Tome of Battle is off the table for being added? The recent post on soulmelds reminded me just how much I hate that book. Not any of the material in it, per se, but the physical book itself. I can't stand the way its arranged, which makes White Wolf books look user-friendly by comparison. Things like how the martial adept classes, when new maneuvers are learned, and what the schools' favored weapons are, and what the maneuvers do all go into different chapters. I have a feeling that an entire book is a bit too vague, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    I take it the entire Tome of Battle is off the table for being added? The recent post on soulmelds reminded me just how much I hate that book. Not any of the material in it, per se, but the physical book itself. I can't stand the way its arranged, which makes White Wolf books look user-friendly by comparison. Things like how the martial adept classes, when new maneuvers are learned, and what the schools' favored weapons are, and what the maneuvers do all go into different chapters. I have a feeling that an entire book is a bit too vague, though.
    and then try using a PDF... I have had to memorize page numbers to use it properly. the content itself I like, the book is just poorly organized. so I guess I'll start it with 3 votes.

    and, why has no one started it... the vorpal sword Su of balors gets 3 as well.
    not only does it make no sense(this should be under treasure), it is still part of the ****ing srd.
    when the balor enters and antimagic field? its sword disappears... this is one of the most used monsters of high level play... and it has a massive typo in the midle of it? it passed all editors, and all revisions without note. WHY!!!
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I think I'm going to drop my vote for Monk and add a vote to something new to the list: Arrow Demon

    Something is really wrong with this, especially for a CR 7. First off, it's mainly ranged, but it's CON is through the roof, giving it gobs more health than it should have (135 avg, compared to 33 for a Succubus of the same CR, or 135 for a Retriever of CR 11). It also has the ability to Dimension Door at will, which makes it almost impossible to melee, insane skills, and rather high saves for something of CR 7.

    I think there were a couple other things about it that were broken, but it's late and I can't think straight…
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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    I take it the entire Tome of Battle is off the table for being added? The recent post on soulmelds reminded me just how much I hate that book. Not any of the material in it, per se, but the physical book itself. I can't stand the way its arranged, which makes White Wolf books look user-friendly by comparison. Things like how the martial adept classes, when new maneuvers are learned, and what the schools' favored weapons are, and what the maneuvers do all go into different chapters. I have a feeling that an entire book is a bit too vague, though.
    Naw, I never found it that hard. Specifically, the "Maneuvers and Stances" chapter has a handy index sorted by level and then by school, followed by long descriptions by school. This was just about the perfect way to organize it, and is leagues better than MoI's alphabetical muckery.

    Favoured weapons per se don't even come up that much. And they're right in the same chapter (the aforementioned "maneuvers and stances") that tells you what all the maneuvers do. You really only need that chapter and the section on whatever class you're using.

    The only complaint I have is that the table listing the max maneuver level is kind of buried... but it's identical to when Clerics/Druids/Wizard gain new spell levels, so it's pretty easy to remember or remind yourself about if you've got a PHB/SRD handy.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    There are any number of criteria for what make awful things awful in D&D. To my mind "awful AND nigh-unavoidable" trumps "awful" alone, and by this reasoning polymorph et al. is pretty much as bad as it gets.
    Hmm. A plausible reasoning. I take it you're voting polymorph (3), then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    I take it the entire Tome of Battle is off the table for being added? The recent post on soulmelds reminded me just how much I hate that book. Not any of the material in it, per se, but the physical book itself. I can't stand the way its arranged, which makes White Wolf books look user-friendly by comparison. Things like how the martial adept classes, when new maneuvers are learned, and what the schools' favored weapons are, and what the maneuvers do all go into different chapters. I have a feeling that an entire book is a bit too vague, though.
    Yeah, adding ToB as a whole isn't likely to work too well... especially if your only objection is layout. Compare CPsi, which is the current broadest entry, where the objections are manifold and far more serious: nerfs to powers, introduction of the absurd synchronicity, uselessly redundant feat listings, bizarre and messy classes, etc. Even with all that, it's a bit dubious for inclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    and then try using a PDF... I have had to memorize page numbers to use it properly. the content itself I like, the book is just poorly organized. so I guess I'll start it with 3 votes.
    Please, please be more specific. Shall I put you down for "ToB organization (rules; 3)"? (Even that seems a little unusual, but to each his own.)

    and, why has no one started it... the vorpal sword Su of balors gets 3 as well.
    not only does it make no sense(this should be under treasure), it is still part of the ****ing srd.
    when the balor enters and antimagic field? its sword disappears... this is one of the most used monsters of high level play... and it has a massive typo in the midle of it? it passed all editors, and all revisions without note. WHY!!!
    It isn't treasure. It is specifically destroyed on the balor's death, and presumably you're not intended to disarm and steal it before then either. As far as the Su tag... maybe they just didn't feel like making it Ex for some reason. Balors aren't going to be happy inside an AMF anyway, and loss of what would be a masterwork longsword isn't really a big deal. Or do you think their magic weapon should retain its properties inside an AMF? That really would be messy.

    Anyway, what's the typo you're referring to? (I'll hold off on applying those six votes until clarified, if you don't mind.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    I think I'm going to drop my vote for Monk and add a vote to something new to the list: Arrow Demon

    Something is really wrong with this, especially for a CR 7. First off, it's mainly ranged, but it's CON is through the roof, giving it gobs more health than it should have (135 avg, compared to 33 for a Succubus of the same CR, or 135 for a Retriever of CR 11). It also has the ability to Dimension Door at will, which makes it almost impossible to melee, insane skills, and rather high saves for something of CR 7.

    I think there were a couple other things about it that were broken, but it's late and I can't think straight…
    Note that, unless it specifically makes an exception, DimDooring stops all further actions for the round; that's one small comfort. I do know it's sometimes recommended as a polymorph target for archers, given its impressive ranged capabilities.
    Last edited by TuggyNE; 2012-07-11 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Ksheep's latest adjustments
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Please, please be more specific. Shall I put you down for "ToB organization (rules; 3)"? (Even that seems a little unusual, but to each his own.)
    it is more of a unhapiness with the layout... but forget it, not important. axe the votes.


    It isn't treasure. It is specifically destroyed on the balor's death, and presumably you're not intended to disarm and steal it before then either. As far as the Su tag... maybe they just didn't feel like making it Ex for some reason. Balors aren't going to be happy inside an AMF anyway, and loss of what would be a masterwork longsword isn't really a big deal. Or do you think their magic weapon should retain its properties inside an AMF? That really would be messy.
    an...item...is...not...an...special...attack. It...is...an...item.
    listing it as a special attack is like listing a fighters greatsword as a feat. it isn't, and it is very bad writing. the typo is how it is listed.
    heck, the whip isn't listed as a special attack, only the special part of it.

    thyer both even listed in the treasure...

    AMFs have their affects, and dissipating weapons isn't one of them.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    an...item...is...not...an...special...attack. It...is...an...item.
    listing it as a special attack is like listing a fighters greatsword as a feat. it isn't, and it is very bad writing. the typo is how it is listed.
    heck, the whip isn't listed as a special attack, only the special part of it.

    thyer both even listed in the treasure...
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD Balor
    Death Throes (Ex)
    When killed, a balor explodes in a blinding flash of light that deals 100 points of damage to anything within 100 feet (Reflex DC 30 half). This explosion automatically destroys any weapons the balor is holding. The save DC is Constitution-based.
    That's what I was referring to by destroying its weapons on death. Listing its unusually powerful and very specific weapon as Su may be a little strange, but it's not the same as listing any old random greatsword, by any means. I'm having trouble figuring out why you're reacting so strongly to something that seems extremely minor, and quite possibly not even incorrect anyway.

    The whip's entangling ability is essentially mundane, albeit unusual, which is presumably why it's listed as Ex.

    AMFs have their affects, and dissipating weapons isn't one of them.
    I beg to differ.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD Antimagic Field
    Furthermore, while a magic sword does not function magically within the area, it is still a sword (and a masterwork sword at that).
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    That's what I was referring to by destroying its weapons on death. Listing its unusually powerful and very specific weapon as Su may be a little strange, but it's not the same as listing any old random greatsword, by any means. I'm having trouble figuring out why you're reacting so strongly to something that seems extremely minor, and quite possibly not even incorrect anyway.
    That isn't a feature of the sword, but the Balor. If it is disarmed, it no longer applies to the sword. If it picks up some random stick, it now applies to that stick. Said stick, however, has no business being listed in special attacks with an (Su) after it, despite being categorically equivalent to the sword. The Balor's sword should be on the list. So:
    Balor's Sword: 1 point
    Truenamer: 3 points
    Void Disciple: 2 points
    Lucid Dreaming: 2 points
    Paladin Code: 2 points
    Last edited by Knaight; 2012-07-11 at 03:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    That isn't a feature of the sword, but the Balor. If it is disarmed, it no longer applies to the sword. If it picks up some random stick, it now applies to that stick. Said stick, however, has no business being listed in special attacks with an (Su) after it, despite being categorically equivalent to the sword. The Balor's sword should be on the list. So:
    Balor's Sword: 1 point
    Truenamer: 3 points
    Void Disciple: 2 points
    Lucid Dreaming: 2 points
    Paladin Code: 2 points
    Well, OK. I can see an argument for the wackiness going on, even if I don't think it's really worthwhile. All votes applied, including 3 from bobthe6th.

    In other news, the Monk has been dethroned from #10 by Void Disciple, and Truenamer has at last gated in a Solar to wish its way to the top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Are we taking Erratas into consideration here? Because Iron Heart Surge, while still being a major pain, at the very least had a more definitive description (that's gotta be redundant) here along with a lot of other stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben-zayb View Post
    Are we taking Erratas into consideration here? Because Iron Heart Surge, while still being a major pain, at the very least had a more definitive description (that's gotta be redundant) here along with a lot of other stuff.
    Unofficial erratas? No. As good as that one is, the majority of players have probably never seen it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    "Common sense" and "RAW" are not exactly on speaking terms
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Not at present, no; if you really want to do this, make your case for it, and I'll consider.

    I don't think it would be too helpful, because the main purpose of downvotes IMO is to even out a few careless entries that don't fit all that well, not to deal with suggestions that many people agree with and some disagree with very strongly. Does that make sense?
    It makes sense, but consider that with several of the ones that are high up on the list in amount of votes are so high up not because many people voted for them (in most cases), but that several people simply allocated 3 votes to these options. Limiting votes to up to 2 per option OR allowing more downvotes per option per voter would be fairer and more balancing, allowing the filtration of not-so-bad options, while keeping in the ones that actually are really bad.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    I take it the entire Tome of Battle is off the table for being added? The recent post on soulmelds reminded me just how much I hate that book. Not any of the material in it, per se, but the physical book itself. I can't stand the way its arranged, which makes White Wolf books look user-friendly by comparison. Things like how the martial adept classes, when new maneuvers are learned, and what the schools' favored weapons are, and what the maneuvers do all go into different chapters. I have a feeling that an entire book is a bit too vague, though.
    Don't know at all what you mean about them being vague, but the other complaints confuse me greatly. That's the same layout that, for example, the Player's Handbook uses to explain magic – some of the rules are in the classes, some of the rules are in the Magic section, and the spell descriptions are in yet another chapter. Wizards was pretty consistent about using that format for any large-ish subsystem.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Read the first post, and noticed that Chicken Infested is listed. Isn't Chicken Infested an April Fools Joke, so the lame fluff and crunch is somewhat expected?
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Bloodlines are pretty terrible and I didn't see them on the list. There's that handbook, I think by BreakMyCampaign, explaining how you can gain level but not and abuse them and argue that they are more like a buyoff then an actual level (as in you pay the amount of XP for the level but it has no LA so you can take the level as normal).

    Edit: I also have to agree that Tome of Battle is layed out rather well, especially when you compare it to spells its on the same level the only bad thing is the Level 2 maneuver at level 3 stuff and multiclassing but to be fair the multiclassing thing was a nice thing for them to do.
    Last edited by Suddo; 2012-07-11 at 11:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Come to think of it bloodlines are really incredibly terrible. Neat idea, absolutely atrocious execution. I think I need to transfer two of my votes to them, from whatever else I have more than one vote on. In fact, make it three votes for now - I'll withdraw my vote for Complete Psionic in general, since Erudite and EW Mind Blade are the only things in that which seriously burn my toast (yeah the Divine Mind is crap, but it's at least somewhat interesting crap, and I found the Synads and Telaire interesting, while most of the rest I haven't read). So that plus one Erudite vote and one WBL vote go into Bloodlines for now, until the next time I remember something even more painful.

    PS - you might consider alphabetizing the votelog, if it doesn't qualify as too much busywork. Could save yourself some searching down the line, your call.
    Last edited by willpell; 2012-07-11 at 11:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    In my opinion, ToB's worst layout offense is Table 3-1 appearing on page 39. It's miles away from where it would be most useful - namely, right before the Base Classes. It wouldn't be quite as bad, if there weren't a big chunky "Skills and Feats" section between the classes and the maneuvers. At least then you'd be able to easily thumb between the two.

    I don't have as much of a problem with how the maneuvers are grouped by discipline. It makes sense, it's logical. The annoying thing is the alphabetization. My brain only alphabetizes automatically for one letter. After that, I have to stop and think. Three disciplines that begin with D, and three with S, meant that I had to stop and think where Diamond Mind was going to be in relation to Desert Wind, and I couldn't flip to it quickly. Stupid, I know, but it still distracted from the book, and slowed things down during gameplay. I ended up putting sticky tabs on the book to show where each section started and ended.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Soulmelds: I love Magic of Incarnum, but it's really poorly worded in a lot of places, and the entire Soulmelds chapter takes the cake. First they introduce THREE classes that are all front-loaded with all the widgets they will ever have, just like Clerics and Binders...then they smash all three lists of widgets together into one alphabetical archive, which you have to page through and read the Class: line to figure out which ones are available to your class. Every soulmeld has a ton of moving parts - its normal effect, its essentia effect, and from one to four binds - for you to keep track of, which means the tables which are supposed to summarize them don't tell you even a fraction of what you need to know, and their only way to point out the melds that go on more than one chakra was to copy them in both locations with no cross-reference. The entire thing is basically illegible, and I couldn't work with the classes until I hand-wrote a new reference which sorts them sensibly.
    There's a spreadsheet out there somewhere.

    Anyone got a link?
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Mind expounding a bit on "Natural Abilities"? What precisely are you calling out?
    I'm calling out the entire subset. 'Natural abilities' as written make no sense and are self-contradictory within the primary source, the PHB. They also get absolutely no mention in anything between the publication of the PHB3.5 in 2003 and the Rules Compendium in 2007. The only clarifying statement on their interactions with the spells and abilities based on Alter Self came in a web article (this is a natural abilities issue, not a Polymorph one. If spells were labeled as Sp the way they were in 3.0, there wouldn't be a problem.).

    You could combine this with Ex/Su/SLA. Natural abilities are the forgotten child, the fourth member of the triumvirate.
    Last edited by QuickLyRaiNbow; 2012-07-11 at 04:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Answerer View Post
    I dunno, "worst-written" to me can refer to the hideously open-ended wording that they used.
    Fair enough.
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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    First vote- Feral template, in successive paragraphs it mentions Hit dice as either monster HD or just HD, but it's abilities go off of HD, but which ones?

    (If books in general were allowed I would vote all possible for Savage Species, as it lies in it's own edition i lovingly call 3.25 where some things are old, some things are correct with what was coming out soon, and others only exist in Savage Species. Namely the winged template basing the flight maneuverability on Dex, and only that template having that)

    I'll send 2 votes to the Manyfang Dagger from Curmudgeon.

    2 votes for Dust of Sneezing and Choking.

    2 Votes for VoP from BoED- allows you to carry plain clothes, spell component pouch, non magical bag, and simple weapon... the heavy crossbow is a simple weapon that costs 50 gp, but I'm not allowed to have a holy symbol of the deity that I've dedicated my life to?

    1 for Wish- the spell- I can create any non-magical item worth up to 25,000 gp. Followed by I can create a magical item, or increase the properties of an existing item (no price limit given)

    1 for Paladin code.

    And my last vote is for... Damage Reduction and it's unstackability.
    If my class grants DR x/b, my feats can grant DR x/c, my armor can grant DR x/a. Why can't they all be there whether it says they stack or not? Case in point- Roll with it, Adamantine Fullplate, heavy armor optimization(or specialization, forget which), and Survivor all give DR x/-, yet none of them work together, though they all represent either internal toughness, or years of training to avoid damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    The bigger the naga, though, the more chance of a reversal. Some fights, you'll Power Attack with your Naga. Some fights, the Naga will Power Attack with you.

    “Parley” is the French word for “everyone else is flat-footed and bare-handed”.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by LordDrakulzen View Post
    First vote- Feral template, in successive paragraphs it mentions Hit dice as either monster HD or just HD, but it's abilities go off of HD, but which ones?
    There are two answers here, not one. Special Attacks are granted based on monster HD only. Special Qualities are granted based on total HD. That's why there are two separate tables rather than one larger one.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    I just voted for what I considered a poorly worded section.

    If I have to go to more than one source to get the definite answer, then it is poorly worded.

    I still say that the entirety of Savage Species could easily go into this. I've lost count the number of times my friend has used a warforged/incarnate construct to get access to more templates to even his ECL.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    The bigger the naga, though, the more chance of a reversal. Some fights, you'll Power Attack with your Naga. Some fights, the Naga will Power Attack with you.

    “Parley” is the French word for “everyone else is flat-footed and bare-handed”.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Savage Species does indeed have a lot of problems.

    Bloodlines were definitely another good call.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    The entire Heroes of Horror book. Mostly because it was poorly written, poorly proofread and once it was out, it was left to rot without errata.

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    Default Re: Top Ten Worst-Written Spells, Class Features, Racial Abilities, Feats, Items, etc

    Heroes of Horror has serious problems – mostly to do with its Taint system – but the whole book is too much. Dread Necromancer is a fine class, and there are some decent PrCs in there. And really, though phenomenally powerful, the Archivist isn't strictly better than already-existing classes (like Wizard).

    Now, if you are talking about the Tainted Scholar, then I agree wholeheartedly.


    The only "whole book" that I'd consider is Complete Psionics, and even then I have little problem with the Ardent, Soulbow, or Practiced Manifester. I'm not aware of any problems with the Lurk other than its very low power, for that matter. The 50+ "{Weapon Name} Mind Blade" feats are awful, though, and the Divine Mind is a travesty.
    Last edited by Answerer; 2012-07-11 at 11:36 PM.

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